You can never have too many dog agility jumps in your dog training routine.
The more jumps you have the more drills and skills you can practice, the better to train your dog.
We are often asked, “How many jumps should I start with?” You can never have too many single jumps to practice agility.
First Phase: 8 Dog Agility Jumps
A good starting place is four jumps. This is the absolute minimum number of jumps that we recommend.
You can teach a variety of skills, drills, and exercises with four jumps. Four jumps will allow you to work on a short jump chute or jump grid.
You can setup a “box” with your jumps and practice handling, collection, and 270 degree jumps.
You can teach your dog jumping left and right. You can be outside the box and send your dog or you can handle from the inside of the box.
Your jumps can be setup in a horizontal line, so that you can practice serpentines and threadles.
Second Phase: 8 Dog Agility Jumps
Go the next step and get eight jumps.
Now you can setup two boxes with one introductory jump.
You’ve now multiplied your drills that you can practice with your dog.
Your jump grids can be of recommended size and quantity of jumps.
You can also setup your jumps in a circle with the jump bars perpendicular to the circle or on the circumference of the circle.
This pattern also enables you to train a variety of skills.
Your next consideration is a double jump and a triple jump. You could set two or three single jumps together to make your expanded jump, but having double and triple jump in your course work is really valuable to practice.
We’ve seen many dogs run a clean course and the last obstacle is a triple and the dog is not prepared for it, and bang, down comes the bar.
You can really be ahead of the pack and have two sets of eight jumps.
This is the ultimate in training because you can keep a jump grip up at all times that is separate from your course work, and have eight single jumps to have for course work.
And when you include your double and triple, you can really practice all the jumping skills and drills necessary to get you those “Qs”.
How to Teach Dog Agility Jumps
The following video (Mc Cann Dog Training) will show you how to teach your dog to jump.
They have been teaching a lot of puppy training videos lately, and here’s something that ALL dog owners can teach their dogs.
Whether you have a small breed, a large breed, a younger dog or an older dog, teaching them to jump over things can be a lot of fun if you have an active breed!
Puppy Agility Training
The pause table is the center control point of your puppy dog training. Teach the pup to be comfortable going to the table and working throught jumps.
You may be asking:
“When can I start dog agility training with my new puppy?”
Puppies are always learning, so every time you are with your pup you can be playing and socializing with agility in mind.
Always remember, if you can control your puppies environment, you can teach and train the behaviors you want, left on their own, even in a fenced yard, puppies will learn and develop behaviors that later we may want or need to extinguish.
One of the first behaviors we teach our pups is “Table” or “Box”. This behavior transfers to the agility pause table.
But more than that, the table is the center and control point of our puppy training. We introduce pups and older dogs to the table set at a 12 inch height.
If you have a very small pup you could use an 8 inch table, but even with bigger dogs we use the 12 inch table and not higher.
To begin, lure pup up on a low pause table, treat him for getting on the table.
Once the pup is comfortable getting up on the table, then lure the pup up to a sit. You can also lure to a down.
Next you want to work on distance to the table. If you have a person to help you you can use a white target plate on the table, take the pup and step back from the table about 3 feet.
Have your helper make a noise to get the pup’s attention, and place a treat on the table.
Release your pup to, “Go table.”
The pup gets his reward only when getting up on the table. If you don’t have a helper, than place your treat in a covered container that will be recognized as a treat box for your pup. Leave the treat container on the table, step away from the table about 3 feet, face the table and say, “Go Table”.
If your pup is very young, you can hold him as you lift him off the table and move away from the table. If your pup is too big for you to hold then use a flatbuckle collar and light dragline for your pup.
Now introduce your jumps to your pup. But you are not going to use the jump bars yet.
First you want your pup to go through or between the jump uprights. Set a jump about 4 feet away from your table. Take your pup to the other side of the jump. So you are lined up pup, jump, then table.
You want to get your pups attention to the treat on the table, either with a helper or a treat container, release your pup to the table, “Go Table”.
Let the pup run ahead of you, but go meet him at the table so that he can get his treat, praise him then offer him another treat for sitting on the table.
Progress with adding one extra jump at a time. Spacing the jumps about 3 feet apart. You are developing a jump chute that will lead the pup to the table.
Remember your goal is to build the command, “Go” and “Table”. You are also teaching the pup to move out ahead of you, working away from you and getting comfortable working around tables and jumps.
Your pup is getting familiar running through the jump uprights, but you are not focusing on having your pup jump.
With all your puppy training, have fun with your pup. Use all your puppies motivators, praise, toys, and food.
It is up to you to be more interesting to your pup than all the other distractions out in the yard.